During November and December, 65 SendGrid employees participated in the Sweat Equity Pursuit Challenge. Forming 8 teams, these employees competed against each other by tracking the duration and intensity of their workouts to rack up their points.

The team with the highest average points per person after the six weeks won not only bragging rights but also $250 donated to the charity of the winning team’s choice. When the competition came to a close in December, Kara Bakarich, Chelsea Hart, Yev Irkhin, Carole Lundeen, and Kristi Walthall took home the prize! However, everyone who participated ended up logging a total of 1,177 workout hours, and about 771,379 calories burned!

The winning team decided to donate their prize money to Propel Educational Consulting, a foundation that is near to the heart of one of our employees, Kristi Walthall, who spent some time in Haiti volunteering for the organization in January.

Propel currently works with 500-600 children and wishes “to ignite passionate and productive education among teachers and inspire quality learning among all children by implementing teacher trainings, learning to lead and design programs, sport camps and fine arts.” Working mostly with teachers and children in Haiti and Uganda, the SendGrid donation will specifically go to a new school program in Uganda.

More broadly, the Sweat Equity workout challenge was part of a new SendGrid Wellness Initiative that was implemented in 2014. Going forward, each quarter will focus on a different dimension of health with activities, classes, and events related to the theme for all the employees to take advantage of. For example, this previous quarter focused on “fitness,” in which we competed in the Sweat Equity Challenge, participated on-site workout classes, and hosted an exercise informational seminar.

Next quarter’s focus in on the “self” in which there will be on-site meditation classes, an informational seminar about our learning & development programs, organized breaks from working, a seminar on how to manage stress, and more!

If you’d like to start working at a great company that encourages you to grow both personally and professionally, visit the SendGrid Careers page to see the positions we’re currently hiring for.



Michelle Van Veen is SendGrid's People Ops Intern. She has always been interested in learning more about creating great company culture and how leadership factors into the equation. In her free time she enjoys skiing, hiking, cooking, watching bad TV, and traveling.